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Service Supplier Visa

The service supplier visa is for overseas service providers or overseas independent professionals wishing to take on a temporary work assignment in the UK. It is a part of the global business mobility visa umbrella.

If you have any queries regarding the service supplier visa, getting a UK sponsor, or general immigration rules, contact our expert team of professional immigration lawyers for immigration advice.

Please contact us at 0333 305 9375, or online via our live chat, seven days a week.

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    What is the UK Service Supplier Visa?

    The Service Supplier visa is a brand new visa route. Part of the Global Business Mobility visa scheme, the UK visa permits an overseas service provider with a contract to offer their services to a UK company, so long the applicant is either:

    1. An employee of an overseas company
    2. Self-employed professional outside the UK

    The Service Supplier route allows an overseas service provider to come to the UK as a contractual service supplier, offering temporary work assignments only, provided that the work is covered fully by a valid international trade agreement.

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    What is Permitted While Living in the UK on this Visa?

    A Service Supplier visa allows a holder to do the following:

    • Work freely for your sponsor in the designated job described on your Certificate of Sponsorship
    • Bring your partner and children with you to the UK, if they are eligible
    • Study
    • Do volunteering
    • Travel abroad and return to the UK
    • Oppositely, you may not:
    • Apply for public funds (benefits) or a state pension
    • Change jobs, unless you update your visa accordingly
    • Apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain and settle permanently in the UK
    • Work a second job

    UK Service Supplier Visa Eligibility Requirements

    To be eligible to become a service supplier visa holder, the applicant must:

    • Be an employee of an overseas business or a self-employed service provider, based overseas and established in the territory of a party to an eligible trade agreement.
    • Be providing a service to a UK business contractual service suppliers, that’s covered by that agreement.
    • Meet the relevant nationality or residence requirements applicable.
    • Providing a service to a UK business that’s a Home Office-approved sponsor.
    • Hold a valid Certificate of Sponsorship from a UK sponsor that details the work that the applicant will be doing in the UK.
    • Do an eligible job occupation and have a relevant occupation code mentioned on their certificate of sponsorship using the most appropriate occupation code.
    • Have worked for their current employer for a minimum of a year outside the UK or, if the applicant is a self-employed service provider, have worked for at least 12 months immediately before applying and the job has to be in the same sector as the service.
    • Ability to support themselves financially, by showing proof of funds of at least £1,270, unless they’re exempt. This money must be in their bank account for at least 28 consecutive days, within 31 days of the date that they apply for their visa.
    •  If the service supplier visa applicants do not have the eligible occupation code, there is still a chance to be eligible to apply for a UK Service Supplier visa, if they have relevant qualifications:
    • A bachelor’s degree or higher in any subject or technical qualification is equivalent to a bachelor’s degree.
    • 3 years of professional experience relevant to the service they provide.
    • 6 years of professional experience if self-employed.

    Please note that some services have different experience and qualifications requirements:

    • Fashion and modelling: no qualifications are required
    • Chef de cuisine: an advanced technical qualification
    • Entertainment services: no qualifications required
    • Management consulting services: bachelor’s degree
    • Advertising or translation: relevant qualifications

    Technical testing and analysis: bachelor’s degree or a relevant technical qualification.

    What is the Service Supplier Visa Application Process?

    To apply for a service supplier visa, you must do so from outside the country online. The primary visa holder has to submit a number of documents and prove their identity to the Home Office.

    It is important to ensure that the Service Supplier visa application is submitted correctly in the first instance to avoid any delays or rejection.

    To prove their identity, some applicants are asked to attend an in-person appointment at a designated visa application centre to give biometric information.

    What are the Supporting Documents Required to Take the Service Supplier Visa Route?

    To apply for a Service Supplier visa, the following documents must submit:

    A certificate of sponsorship reference number- this will be given to the applicant by their UK employer:

    • A valid passport or alternative document which proves identity and nationality
    • The job title and jobs occupation code
    • Name of the UK sponsor and their sponsor license number
    • Evidence of sufficient funds or savings to support themselves when they arrive in the UK- bank
    • Proof of relationship to any dependant partner and children – only if applicable
    • Tuberculosis test results (if applicable)

    Any documents submitted have to be translated into English or Welsh, if they aren’t already, before being submitted with an application form.

    If you have any queries regarding the Service Supplier Visa, contact the team at Total Law. Contact us

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      How to Obtain a UK Sponsor

      Overseas workers cannot even apply for a Service Supplier visa unless they have sponsorship from a valid UK sponsor with a Home Office-approved sponsor license.

      To be eligible, the UK business has to hold a valid international trade agreement and sponsor license before any plans can be made to employ an overseas worker including overseas service suppliers. The sponsor must be authorized to sponsor the relevant category of worker. If the employer is not authorized to do so, they must apply to the Home Office to seek permission to sponsor workers under the Service Supplier route.

      Is There an Application Fee to Apply to be an Overseas Service Provider?

      For a UK Service Supplier visa, in addition to being able to show proof of funds, there will also be the following fees:

      • The application fee of £259
      • The immigration health surcharge of £624 per year

      There will be additional fees for any dependents you wish to bring with you to the UK.

      How Long can you Stay in the UK with a Service Supplier Visa?

      With a Service Supplier visa, the visa holder can work and live in the UK for between 6 and 12 months, depending on the agreement they have with the UK employer.

      Once a UK Service Supplier visa expires you can either apply for a different type of visa to stay in the UK, or you can apply for a Service Supplier visa in a different country.

      If you intend on staying, you have to apply for a new UK visa prior to your current Service Supplier visa expiring.

      Can dependents join Service Supplier workers?

      Family members can join on a service supplier visa. This includes a spouse or partner of a UK Service Supplier visa-holder, and any dependent children.

      Any family must pay a separate application fee and the annual health surcharge. They’ll also need to provide, where applicable, proof of personal savings up to £285 for a spouse or partner, £315 for the first child and £200 for each additional child.

      During the application process, proof of relationship such as a marriage certificate or birth certificate will be required.  The Dependent’s visa will end on the same date as the primary visa holder.

      Find out more about the Service Supplier Visa on Total Law. Contact us

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        How Total Law Can Help?

        The immigration process is tough and can be stressful. In order to greatly improve your chances of being granted a service supplier visa, you should work with the immigration team at Total Law.

        Our qualified group of highly trained immigration solicitors will be there to support you every step of the way and answer your questions about this visa or any in the global business mobility service scheme.

        We provide services we are proud of and have helped many clients take this immigration route successfully.

        Reach out today to discuss your specific case. Please contact us at 0333 305 9375, or online via our live chat, seven days a week.

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  If you currently hold another UK visa, you may be eligible to switch to a Service Supplier visa, so long you are actually eligible for one. You will not be able to do this, however,  if you:

                  • Are on a short-term visa
                  • Are on a short-term student visa
                  • Are on a Parent of a Child Student visa
                  • Are on a seasonal worker visa
                  • Are on a domestic worker in a private household visa
                  • Are on immigration bail
                  • Were given permission to stay in the UK on compassionate grounds

                  Additionally, if you plan to switch to this visa from a Student visa, one of the following must apply to you:

                  • You’ve completed the course you were sponsored to study on your Student visa
                  • The start date of your job is after the completion date of your course
                  • You’ve been studying for a PhD for at least 24 months

                  To be eligible for a UK Service Supplier visa, the applicant must be providing a service to a UK business under a contract that’s covered by the UK’s international trade agreements, and that business is a Home Office-approved sponsor.